Individualism as a Reason Why Christians Oppose Health Care Reform.
Why do Christians oppose health care reform? It’s really difficult to think of a reason. Paul Raushenbush, over at Huffington Post, can’t think of one. Now abortion is a reason for Christians to oppose any particular health care reform bill. And since feminists are just as determined to defend abortion rights as Christians, some at least, are to take those rights away it may be difficult to create a health care bill satisfactory to both sides. But it is clear some Christians oppose health care reform on general principles. They really and truly believe the present system is more in keeping with Christian principles than any possible alternative. And the question is why?
One thing most Christians believe is the importance of the individual and the unimportance of the state. Individuals, in Christian belief, live forever. The state, on the other hand, will someday disappear. So individuals are infinitely more important than the state. Furthermore Christians believe materialists can’t share this understanding. If human beings die and are no more but the state continues for a very long time then it is reasonable to assume the individual should exist to service the state. So when materialists and atheists and secularists and agnostics support public policies that increase the power of the state Christians are suspicious of their motives. Christians support a small state on general principles. At least when they do not control it.
The problem here is the need for big government intervention in the health care field if health care is to be anything other than a luxury only the wealthiest can afford. Government will have to give money to the poor so that they can afford health care. This money will have to be taken from those more well off through taxes. In order to keep individuals from gaming the system individuals must be required to purchase health insurance. Only then will the reforms Christians can live with really work. In simple terms we can either have big government health care reform or have health care only the wealthy can afford. That as they say is that. And since the Christians who oppose health care reform are distrusting of the motives of those who advocate health care reform they are willing to let health care become a luxury only the wealthy can afford.
Perhaps it would help Christians to understand why we need big government health care reform, and big government in general if we described the need for big government in terms of sheep, shepherds and wolves. Imagine a flock of sheep without a shepherd. Wolves surround this flock. Left to fend for themselves the sheep will be killed, one by one, by the wolves. The sheep can live in safety only if a well-armed shepherd appears to protect them. That shepherd is big government. Without the intervention of big government greedy corporations, the wolves of this scenario will make health care too expensive for most people to afford. Individuals cannot protect themselves from abuse by large corporations lead by greedy individuals by themselves. For this collective action is needed. And only big government can provide this collective action.